With the introduction of two new products for 2009, John Deere’s AMS (Agricultural Management Solutions) division now offers a full range of affordable guidance systems, from entry level units for smaller arable and livestock farms to top of the range applications for large farmers and contractors.
New GreenStar Lightbar
For newcomers to the world of guidance, John Deere has launched the GreenStar Lightbar system, a manual steering aid that is easy to install and use, and which has been specifically designed for small to medium sized livestock farms and medium sized arable units.
This simple parallel tracking system helps farmers to achieve higher levels of accuracy and input cost savings when operating in the field with wider implements such as cultivators, sprayers and lime spreaders – especially in challenging conditions of fog, dust or night-time working.
Ready to use in under 10 minutes, the system is compatible with John Deere and other makes of equipment which have a 12V power supply. It is based on the new StarFire 300 EGNOS-only receiver, which is mounted on the vehicle cab. The GreenStar Lightbar display inside the cab uses a series of LED indicators, each with a resolution of 10cm, to help the driver steer straight and parallel with preceding field work. Setting up the system is a simple process, requiring the use of only three buttons on the Lightbar unit before starting work.
The new GreenStar Lightbar can also be used in conjunction with John Deere’s original GreenStar display and/or StarFire iTC position receiver. This allows even greater flexibility in tracking modes, or higher levels of accuracy with John Deere’s exclusive SF1 (+/-30cm) and SF2 (+/-10cm) correction signals. UK list price for the GreenStar Lightbar and StarFire 300 receiver package is £1022 plus VAT.
New Implement Compensation and iGuide systems
To increase accuracy when operating in AutoTrac curved track mode, John Deere will be introducing a new Implement Compensation feature for GreenStar 2. Implement Compensation steers the tractor according to a ‘calculated’ implement position, to eliminate the natural tendency of trailed implements to cut corners during curved operations in the field.
StarFire 300 receiver
During set-up, the operator enters the key dimensions of the implement into the GreenStar display, including the position of the drawbar pivot and the working elements. In the field, the tractor then automatically oversteers to ensure that the implement bouts match up more accurately. Implement Compensation will be included in a free-of-charge software update for GreenStar 2, which is planned for summer 2009.
John Deere’s new iGuide system goes a stage further, by automatically steering the tractor according to a highly accurate positioning signal (within +/-2cm) provided by a second StarFire RTK receiver mounted on the implement itself. The tractor is then able to compensate fully for crabbing of the implement on slopes as well as in curves, ensuring precise bout matching even in extreme conditions.
Work quality is dramatically improved and tramline or row spacing is significantly more accurate, with further benefits when using the rows or tramlines for subsequent fertiliser and crop protection applications. The new iGuide system can be fitted to all trailed implements when working with John Deere AutoTrac tractors equipped with a GreenStar 2 display and StarFire RTK. Full pricing of the iGuide system is to be confirmed.
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